Monday, February 11, 2008

Bessemer Venture Partners: SaaSy!

Bessemer may have a reputation in some circles of being an old fashioned firm, but really, we're quite SaaSy.

Over the past decade, BVP has quietly been investing in a once low-profile area of software now known as Software as a Service (SaaS). Early BVP SaaS investment include companies such as Verisign (VRSN), Keynote (KEYN), Cyota (Acq. by RSA) and more recently, Postini (Acq. by Google) and Endeca, and this investment focus shows no sign of fading away anytime soon.

Last year alone, BVP made new investments in five pure SaaS companies including Perimeter eSecurity, Eloqua, Cornerstone OnDemand, SelectMinds, and LinkedIn. Bessemer’s combined software and SaaS portfolio is now projected to reach an impressive $1.2B in aggregate revenues in 2008.
With 2007 marking a clear inflection point for the wider acceptance of SaaS (including in the public marke
ts with the successful IPOs of NetSuite, SuccessFactors, DemandTec,, Aprimo and Constant Contact), we decided it was high time to bring together SaaS thought leaders, SaaSy BVP portfolio company executives, and a few close friends for a discussion of SaaS best practices and the changing SaaS landscape.

The invite-only event attracted 40+ companies and 80+ attendees, and as my colleague Philippe Botteri pointed out in his blog post on the event, represented around 80% of the revenues of the SaaS industry in 2007.

Speakers included Quentin Gallivan (former CEO of Postini), Keith Krach (former CEO & Chairman of Ariba), Joe Payne (CEO of Eloqua), Parker Harris (Co-founder and EVP Technology of, Jim McGeever (CFO of NetSuite) and several other luminaries in the space.

In addition, BVP shared some of the best practices we've learned over the years and more than a dozen SaaS investments. You can checked out some of the resources we've put together on SaaS in a special section of our website. But for a taste, below is a slide show of our 10 Rules for SaaS. Happy to discuss any of the points....:

Also check out my colleague Philippe's blog post for a better summary of the event!


innonate said...

Sarah, this is really an awesome deck. Thanks a ton.

Harsh Shah said...

If anyone wants more, Byron Deeter dives into more detail @